Jennifer D Jennifer's Comments (member since Mar 23, 2011)

Jennifer's comments from the CBC Books group.

(showing 181-200 of 2,401)

Oct 16, 2014 12:35PM

40089 welcome, rose. i hope you will enjoy the group. it will be nice to have you join in our discussions!
Oct 16, 2014 06:23AM

40089 alrighty...i read on last evening, and have made it into chapter 7 (canada lily), and i am on page 161,

a few moments jumped out at me during the reading last night:

1) p. 124 "Compliments aren't superficial either. They are the foundation of recognition of who we are in life."
~ now, peacock is writing abut mary's time socializing at aristocratic assemblages, and how '...her whole life depended on how she looked and what she said.'
~ question: taking out peacock's context, do you think this is a fair observation about life - that who we are is reflected in the compliments we receive?

2) p. 132 "With this access to a central core of experience, she is the living answer to skeptics who buttonhole memoirists and insist they prove how they can repeat whole conversations recollected after many years."
~ here, peacock is recalling the end of the connection between mary and baltimore, and how mary wrote of their estrangement many years after-the-fact.
~ question: when you are reading a memoir, do you expect complete truths? is the field of memoir writing a murky one for you as a reader?

3) the allusion towards a romantic relationship between mary and ann donnellan, and the appearance of kitty kelly who attracted much interest from ann.
~ question: what do you think of the friendship between mary and ann donnellan? do you feel peacock is correct in her assessment of the relationship between these two women?
Oct 15, 2014 07:26AM

40089 hi everyone!! i didn't get quite as much reading done while i was away, so i have a bit of catching up to do! at the moment, i am on page 114, so not quite through chapter 6. i have just finished reading the back-and-forth between baltimore and mary, after his tennis injury.

i have to say that peacock's description of pendarves, and the union with mary, grossed me out so much. his physical description and inebriation, and bouts of gout really made me feel sad for mary, and her forced decision for the good of the family. i still have trouble wondering how a parent (or uncle) could think it's a-okay to marry off an 18-year-old young woman to a not very pleasant/pleasing 60-year-old man. mary's first look at his 'castle' was evocative for me.

as i have read further in the book, i am finding i am not enjoying how peacock is linking the floral images to moments in mary's life. while it is an interesting approach, i find myself thinking too much about how these inferences are being reached? i am also still not liking peacock weaving her own life into mary's story. i find it interrupts the flow of the read for me.

oh - the other things that left my mouth nearly on the floor -- the instances where an aunt or other person was setting up mary to be available to men, locked in a garden, locked in a room. holy crackers that's twisted!
Oct 14, 2014 04:59PM


Congratulations to Naomi Klein! Her book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, was just announced as the 2014 winner of the Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.
Oct 09, 2014 11:05AM

40089 Petra wrote: "Has anyone noticed the book recommendations by GR for currently reading this book? There are some fascinating books being recommended. I've added a few onto my TBR list and am eyeing a few more yet."

are they personal recommendations based on this book and your shelved books? or are they just these ones, the 'books similar to...':

i haven't gone through them all, but keep noticing The Juggler's Children: A Journey into Family, Legend and the Genes that Bind Us, as i already own it and think it sounds interesting! i bet there are many interesting women to be discovered!! :)
Oct 09, 2014 04:07AM

40089 oh -no apologies needed -- i was just trying to gauge which bits you were talking about, whether in this week's chapters, or beyond that. (since i have not yet read this week's chapters i couldn't tell.) it's totally fine to talk about the things up to page 139/140.
Oct 08, 2014 04:52PM

40089 where abouts are you all in the reading? i have not yet started the 2nd week's chapters, so you guys must be ahead of me. sorry!

and just an FYI -- i will be away/offline from friday through monday for the long holiday weekend. (it's thanksgiving in canada, for those in other parts of the world.) but i will be bringing my book with me! :)

in my absence, please feel free to post questions or thoughts on the week's reading (up to page 139, for this weekend-ish.)

but please refrain from revealing spoilers from later chapters (if you are further ahead than the schedule.) we'll try and keep this spoiler-free until later in the month. thanks!!
Oct 08, 2014 08:06AM

40089 Jen wrote: "Yay, Crummey! That's all."

word! :)
Oct 08, 2014 04:58AM

40089 i am feeling a bit strange over having not read a single one of the nonfiction nominees. as well, arno kopecky's is the only one of the 4 i have even heard much (any) chat about. so on the one hand i feel a bit doltish for not being more on top of things, but on the other hand - new books to investigate. :)
Oct 07, 2014 10:25AM

40089 i added the CBC Books' web page for the awards (into the first post)'s so much friendlier to navigate. #NoBias #haha.
Oct 07, 2014 10:23AM

40089 i agree, penny! i don't know what made them change it in this way, but it was hugely frustrating trying to navigate the awards site. grrr!!!

i have not read thomas' new one. i did recently read Curiosity, and really loved it, so i am keen for 'the opening sky'. i also have 'my october' and 'the back of the turtle' on the pile. i was only so-so about holden rothman's debut novel, The Heart Specialist...but much of that first book was interesting, even if the whole of it didn't totally work for me.
Oct 07, 2014 10:12AM


Today, the Canada Council for the Arts announced the 2014 shortlist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards. “This year’s list of finalists contains powerful novels and poems, imaginative children’s books, skillful translations, entrancing dramas and enlightening non-fiction,” said Canada Council Director and CEO, Simon Brault. “They are all meaningful books in which we can, as readers and Canadians, lose ourselves and find ourselves.”

The GG winners will be announced on November 18th.



* Michael Crummey, Sweetland
* Bill Gaston, Juliet Was a Surprise
* Claire Holden Rothman, My October
* Thomas King, The Back of the Turtle
* Joan Thomas, The Opening Sky


* Michael Harris, The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection
* Arno Kopecky, The Oil Man and the Sea: A Modern Misadventure on the Pacific Tanker Route
* Edmund Metatawabin with Alexandra Shimo, Up Ghost River: A Chief's Journey Through the Turbulent Waters of Native History
* Maria Mutch, Know the Night: A Memoir of Survival in the Small Hours

For additional nominees in French, poetry, drama, and children's books, please visit the official announcement:

The Governor General's Literary Awards website can be found here:

CBC Books' page dedicated to the GG awards: (easier to navigate!)

Oct 06, 2014 06:55PM

40089 i am so glad i am not the only one that thinks about these things! :) my husband and i often talk about what it would be like to live in different times, due to something we are reading, or watching. we have a running joke that i would likely end up accused of being a witch and burned at the stake -- not because i am a witch, but just because i stand up for myself, and can maybe be a bit...odd - quirky and awkward. heh. but i do wonder if the traits i have now would be present if raised in different environs? would i feel so free to express my opinions? would i feel stifled having limited outlets as a woman?

@ ruthie - oh, man. right? i have read 'longbourn', and a few other similar books in the past year, that painted such an awful, bleak and smelly life on the lowest rungs of society. being born into poverty made for such a hard life in so many different ways. and the class systems in england (where a lot of the books i read were set/taking place) made it such a challenge to find moments of hope among all the hard work and fighting to survive.

@ laurie -- i also wondered about that early marriage of mary's. i wonder if it will be mentioned any further in the book? it seemed to be so briefly covered, yet i was left with the feeling that it was traumatic? i am not sure how common it was at that time for teenaged women/girls to be married to older men? certainly not unusual...but perhaps not quite such regular thing? but inside my head i shuddered for mary. it just seems so inappropriate, so then i try to think about how this would seem okay at that time? i know we are fortunate to have choices and rights here (i am in canada), but so many women around the world still do not. we hear, fairly regularly in the news, stories of child brides and horrible outcomes. it's heartbreaking.
2014 Shortlist (4 new)
Oct 06, 2014 09:00AM

40089 This morning, the 2014 Giller Prize shortlist was announced:

* David Bezmozgis for his novel The Betrayers: A Novel - published by HarperCollins Canada
* Frances Itani for her book Tell - published by HarperCollins Canada
* Sean Michaels for his novel, Us Conductors - published by Random House Canada
* Heather O’Neill for her novel The Girl Who Was Saturday Night - published by HarperCollins Canada
* Miriam Toews for her novel All My Puny Sorrows - published by Knopf Canada
* Padma Viswanathan for her book The Ever After of Ashwin Rao - published by Random House Canada

The six finalists were chosen by the award-winning, three-member jury empanelled for the 2014 prize: Canadian author Shauna Singh Baldwin, British novelist Justin Cartwright, and American writer Francine Prose.

Please visit the Giller Prize website for further information:
Oct 06, 2014 07:05AM

40089 re: new discussion question, above: i'm not sure if you all think about things like this when you read, but i often find myself wondering how i would manage had i lived in a different time. so i thought i would ask your thoughts! :)
Oct 06, 2014 07:04AM

40089 new discussion points

by the time we finish chapter 3, we have been given a small window into mary's life, from childhood through the beginning's of the creations of her collage artworks later in life.

* how do you think you would fare had you lived at this time?
* did anything stick out as particularly appealing, or particularly awful?
Oct 05, 2014 12:51PM

40089 i agree with what you are dying, Mmars! in reading fiction, i am often curious about an author's intent. i like knowing this when looking at art too. but i also love how one work can create so many different reactions and interpretations.
Oct 05, 2014 05:37AM

40089 @ lorraine ~ i was also reminded of dillard a little bit. :)
Oct 05, 2014 05:37AM

40089 Mmars wrote: "I'm sitting here aghast! Pages 42-44. Peacock's math is wrong and it's not difficult. Handel was born in 1685 (that's correct, I double checked) so when he visited in 1708 he would have been 23 no..."

i totally caught that too, Mmars!! i was, like...umm, NO! not sure how that got through the editorial process, but i meant to see if it had been fixed in later printings?
Oct 04, 2014 01:01PM

40089 i have been wondering how the author has made the leaps from mary's mosaics, to them representing people or times in mary's life. i wondered if such things were documented in the mountain of letters, and biographical information from other sources? or whether these were flights of fancy for molly peacock? so far, it hasn't turned me off, but i generally do not like an author inserting themselves and their suppositions into biographies. (so, as you might infer, the parts about peacock's own life being woven into mary's story are not my favourite parts. heh!) but i am enjoying it, as early on in the read as i am right now.

@Mmars -- i quite like the chapter headings too; i do notice these things in reading and it always helps to plant curiosity or make me wonder what's to come, in a more specific way.

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